I could run through the entire alphabet with points of interest and tidbits of information after my week in Ireland, and that’s no blarney. In fact, I think that’s what I’ll be doing on this fine day.
Queen Elizabeth I gets credit for the expression. Apparently she wanted the Irish chiefs to agree to occupy their own lands under title from her. When Cormac Teige MacCarthy, the Lord of Blarney Castle, handled every Royal request for allegiance with subtle diplomacy, promising loyalty to the queen without actually “giving in”, Elizabeth remarked that MacCarthy was giving her “a lot of Blarney.”
The book is known for its elaborate calligraphy, the text written in amazingly beautifully rounded Celtic script with brightly ornamented initial letters. Animal and human forms were often used to decorate the end of a line of text.
Some trace the origin of the phrase to America’s gold rush years in the 1800s when the most famous and successful miners were of Irish and Irish American descent. Over time this association with mining fortunes led to the expression, ‘the luck of the Irish.’ Unfortunately, it often carried a tone of derision, as if to say, only by sheer luck, as opposed to brains, could these Irish lads succeed.
Whoa! That’s quite the alphabet soup; more than you probably can consume in one meal.
The second course will arrive in another day or two.